Longtime readers who pay attention to my food posts know how much I love the cookbook, At Blanchard’s Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook. Twice my parents have taken us, and my sister’s family, to Anguilla with them. And both times it’s been such a thrill for me to eat at the Blanchards restaurants. The first trip, Braydon and I had the treat of a night out just the two of us at Blanchards Restaurant. By our second trip, the Blanchards had opened their “Blanchards Beach Shack” restaurant, and we got to eat there for lunch on the beach… twice! (Thank you MorMor & MorFar!) These Blanchards restaurant experiences have been so memorable for me — these are the kind of restaurants and food concepts I love.
At Blanchards Beach Shack Kyle had what is listed on the menu as the “Big Bowl.” It is a pile of rice, beans, pico de gallo, corn salsa, cheese, etc. served, literally, in a big bowl. You can choose your protein to go on top — grilled shrimp, jerk chicken, shredded pork (there’s a whole list of options) — and it is served with a “crema” drizzled over it all. For Kyle it was love at first bite. He ordered it again the second time we went. I did not order it, but tasted his, and knew I’d try to perfect it at home. The crema seemed to be a mixture of sour cream, cilantro, and lime, and it was — in my opinion — what made the whole dish. I’ve since discovered an awesome dressing — that is a great substitute for Blanchards’ crema — sold in the produce section of our grocery store at home and in South Carolina: Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avacado Yogurt dressing. For a quick easy dinner that replicates Blanchards Big Bowl, this does the trick.
At the beach house we don’t have big bowls to serve this in. (We are lacking serving dishes and glassware in a big way here.) So, we have to pile it on plates. But this is a super fun, casual dinner where everyone can choose their own mixture of goodness and make it the way they like it. Super duper easy and yummy for a summertime supper.
P.S. The night these photos were taken we had the “Big Bowls” with thinly sliced grilled marinated steak. You can use whatever you like or have (or nothing! Kyle likes his best vegetarian.)
- white rice
- 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained), 1/2 onion (chopped), 1 tsp vegetable oil
- pico de gallo (store bought! …or… if you wanna make your own, go for it y’all!)
- corn (at Blanchards they have a corn salsa, but I like to steam fresh corn on the cob then cut the corn kernels off just before serving)
- shredded cheese — monterey jack, cheddar, or whatever you like
- Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avacado Yogurt dressing
- anything else you choose — shrimp, leftover blackened fish, grilled steak/pork/chicken, etc.
Cook the rice. For the beans– heat a saute pan over medium heat; add veggie oil and onion, stirring a few times and cooking until the onion is translucent; add a couple of spoonfuls of the pico de gallo to the pan and cook to just heat through; add black beans and cook until warm and combined. Steam fresh corn on the cob (10 minutes), then remove and let cool. Cut corn kernels off the cobs. If you’re using an additional protein, prepare that. To make the “big bowls”: place everything on the table and let people pile up their bowls/plates the way they like. Drizzle with the dressing. Yummo!